Closing date: 31 July 2019

Start date: October 2019

Subject areas: Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Complex Fluids and Rheology

Project description:

Early diagnosis of disease remains a challenge in modern medicine. In an effort to expedite clinical tests for point of care diagnosis, tools based on microfluidic devices have been developed. One of the most successful microfluidic techniques is the Drop-seq technology, where cells are encapsulated together with functionalized particles in single droplets, to derive the cell genome. In the current setup, however, only less than 10% of the cells are encapsulated successfully with the functionalized particles. As a consequence, this technique cannot be used for the identification of rare cells, such as circulating tumour cells. This problem can be solved by equally spacing particles and cells prior the encapsulation area, thus achieving the so-called deterministic encapsulation.

In this project, the successful candidate will employ several polymer solutions to promote particle/cell ordering and encapsulation in a microfluidic device, to derive the genome of suspended cells. At the end of the project, the successful candidate will master the ordering and the encapsulation in viscoelastic liquids, and he will demonstrate the first evidence of viscoelastic-Drop-seq technology. This work will also take advantage of the collaboration with an industrial microfluidic partner for the successful implementation of the technique to an industrial scale level.

Project supervisors: Dr Francesco Del Giudice
Co-supervisor: Professor Rhodri P. Williams

Available resources/facilities: High-speed microfluidic station, clean room facilities, Rheometer instrumentations for rheological characterization.

For more details please see here:

Administrative Contacts & How To Apply

To apply, please complete and submit the following documents to Dr Francesco Del Giudice (

International applicants may apply, but the funding source to cover the fee difference must be guaranteed and detailed in the covering letter and an IELTS result of 6.5 must be submitted.

For enquiries please contact Dr Francesco Del Giudice ( / +44 (0)1792 604027).

Entry Requirements

Candidates should hold a first or upper second class (2.1) honours degree and/or MSc in Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics or related subjects.

Candidates with strong background in Fluid Mechanics and Rheology will be given priorities. Microfluidic skills are desirable.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent result) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –

The scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend for UK/EU candidates but tuition fees only for international candidates.

Funding Notes

UK/EU candidates: The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,296.

International candidates: The scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees only.

There will be additional funds available for research expenses for UK/EU Candidates.

Funding Information

Application Deadline:

31 July 2019

Please see our website for how to apply:
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